During this first full week of Lent we start our “Walking in Solidarity” series by looking at how we can be in solidarity with others through prayer, worship and preaching.

On Mondays during this series we share how Franciscan Mission Service  – be it our staff, missioners, board or volunteers – is striving to live out the theme for the week.

Wednesdays are the days when our staff starts the day off together in prayer. Our prayer often ends up centering on themes like simplicity and discerning God’s call for us. We like to include a time for intentions so we can pray for our current missioners, the people with whom our missioners work, our recently returned missioners, people discerning mission, our donors and supporters, national and international issues, as well as whatever else is on our hearts and minds.

During formation, the staff and missioners-in-training join together for weekly prayer as well as the occasional Mass. The staff also enjoys prayer time during Discernment Days with mission applicants as well as during re-entry retreats with returned missioners.

These times in prayer together are opportunities to grow together in faith and build relationships so that we can be more interconnected, especially to the missioners once they leave D.C.

“Turning Our Hearts to God” Lenten reflection books in the Franciscan Mission Service chapel

This Lent, our staff has decided to start every work day together in prayer as a way to journey together toward Easter. To guide our reflections, we’re using Patricia Livingston’s “Turning Our Hearts to God”. We have sent copies of the book to our missioners in Kenya and Bolivia so we can be doing the same reflection from three different countries. Fellow Franciscan Service Network programs have also purchased this booklet to use with their volunteers across the country.

At the root of solidarity is the desire for unity and oneness. These common prayers tie us to our missioners and other volunteers committed to serving in the Franciscan charism. In this little way, we can all journey toward the Easter season together with open hearts.

How are you using prayer, worship or preaching to work toward solidarity?

We will continue exploring solidarity as prayer, worship and preaching on Wednesday with prayer resources and Friday with a reflection from Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM.